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Fyfe’s special moment

Tom Fee  November 16, 2017 4:03 PM

Nat Fyfe spoke to media ahead of Saturday night's second IRS test at Domain Stadium.

A spectacular goal against Ireland will long go down as one of Nat Fyfe’s favourite sporting memories but the Fremantle captain is motivated for more when Australia runs out for the second Virgin International Rules Series test on Saturday night at Domain Stadium.

Fyfe’s six-pointer on the run provided the highlight from the first test and brought the group of elite Australians, who are usually fierce opponents, together as fans celebrated at Adelaide Oval.

“Coming into this series I thought I’d be pretty pumped to play,” Fyfe said.

“But once I pulled the emblem on and I was running out alongside guys like Luke Shuey, Chad Wingard, Scott Pendlebury, Eddie Betts, the names go on. Representing the country and having the fans behind us was pretty special. 

“When I kicked that goal and the whole team came in (it showed) this game means a lot to the players and it’s something that I’ll remember for a long time.”

While representing Australia is the main motivation, Fyfe and Australian assistant coach Ross Lyon are using the opportunity to learn from their future opponents in 2018.

“Both Ross and I have got ears and eyes open to figure out where the rest of the competition is at,” Fyfe said.

“From a leadership perspective, to be able to pick the brains of Scott Pendlebury and Joel Selwood and ask them about their trials and tribulations as captains, particularly young captains, is invaluable.”

One of the most fascinating aspects of the IRS is the contrasting skills from both sides. In the first test, Ireland used their superior ability with the round ball to move quickly and score from anywhere on the ground, while Australia played a high-possession style of play to move into optimum scoring position.

After Ireland raced out to an early lead, Australia rallied to take a 10-point advantage into the final test, with the two-test series decided on aggregate.

Fyfe, who kicked a goal and three overs in the opening test, said Australia anticipated a challenge against the highly skilled Irish.

“Ireland didn’t surprise us because we know their skill is by foot and with speed,” Fyfe said.

“A couple of times they were looking to run guys down and really run away from us but we’ll have to try and mitigate that this week.”

The second test will be Fyfe’s final appearance at Domain Stadium before looking forward to starting a new chapter with Fremantle at Perth Stadium.

“This series has certainly been quite successful I think and this week coming up at Subiaco, we’re expecting a big crowd, we’re hoping we can get 35,000-plus fans here,” Fyfe said. 

“After the weekend’s performance and the skill levels from both sides, there's a lot of life left in this series.

“I have a lot of fond memories at this ground and if we get a win that will be a good way to send it off, but we’re staying over at Burswood right next to the new stadium, so I’m licking my lips to get across there and play some footy.”